Dear Commissioner Sanchez,
Dear Commissioner Sanchez,
On January 31, 2016, Governor Cuomo announced a new tool to help with the search for an addiction treatment bed in New York State. Governor Cuomo Unveils New Tool to Guide New Yorkers to Addiction Treatment. The database was to provide up to date information about treatment beds available across New York state which would be updated ‘live’. In fact, according to the Governor’s press release it would be updated 24/7. This would save other treatment facilities, people seeking treatment and families the frustration of calling many facilities just to find their beds are full.
When we first reviewed the tool we were pleased that at least it DOES show what a lack of treatment availability there is in New York. Albeit sad, we are hoping that our elected officials would search this and see how little help is out there, no matter what your situation. If you’re a parent searching for your son or daughter, of course you will go to the ends of the earth, but what about those searching for help who cannot get a ride to a facility 5 hours away?
We were also a bit dismayed by the lack of the ability to search by bed or facility type along with no glossary for those who do not understand what the difference is between the treatment types listed such as “Intensive Residential” versus “Inpatient Rehab” or “Medically Monitored Withdrawal” versus “Med Sup Withdrawal”.
In reality, this is a great tool they’ve provided and we believe with some work, it can help people as they search for treatment, but as it stands today, it is not helpful to the person who is desperate for help or the parent who has just learned their child is addicted to opiates and is not privy to the jargon terms of the industry.
We want four items added:
We must have a way to continually remind them of how difficult help is to find.
By February 9th, we found there were two serious issues even attempting to use the tool as it was 1. Many facilities were not updating their information. 2. Some would list several beds, yet if you called them, they would tell you there was a multi-week waiting period.
Truth Pharm searched for someone to talk to about this issue and after multiple phone calls, found that no one knew who we should contact to discuss the issues, so we contacted the Governor’s office. Our note to the Governor
We are actually impressed! They forwarded our email to OASAS and asked them to address the issue. A contact has now been added to the bottom of the website and we were forwarded several contacts we can make if the dashboard is not being updated or does not reflect accurate data. Letter from OASAS
My favorite line from their email: “As an additional incentive, delinquent/lazy providers have been warned that failure to comply with this daily requirement may result in daily financial penalties.”
Truth Pharm says BRAVO to OASAS on that one!!!
Please keep us posted on this tool – if it works for you, if it doesn’t, if you notice that certain providers are not updating their listing.
This is the link to the tool: Bed Availability Dashboard
We want to thank Governor Cuomo and OASAS for their excellent attention to this matter.
We also want to take this opportunity to remind them, real progress will happen when the Governor promises and provides treatment for all within 50 miles of your zip code. If there is not facility, you should be allowed to go to and be admitted in the nearest hospital, no questions asked. This is what we are fighting for. This is a medical condition proven to be deadly if untreated. If someone wants treatment, they should get that treatment on demand.